Native plants rising to the challenge of coastal resilience

News article |

Native plants are thriving along Yorke Peninsula’s coastline thanks to a 120-hectare planting crusade across 27 locations.

As part of its Djulda-wawa Badja project, the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board has led a revegetation drive since 2022 to help build coastal resilience. Planting will continue through to August this year.

Djulda-wawa Badja project manager Janet Moore said there were promising signs of revegetation success following germination and survival monitoring was undertaken in spring 2023.

Native plants rising to the challenge of coastal resilience
Djulda-wawa Badja project manager Janet Moore, with landscape officer Nick Nicholls, Yorke team leader David Hughes and Djulda-wawa Badja ranger Farrin Miller.

“Some of our 2022 plants are at 1 metre tall already,” she said. “And the late rains last year came at the perfect time to help survival over the hot and typically dry summer months.”

The Board has been supported by hands-on work from Greening Australia, Trees for Life, Yorke Peninsula Council and SYP Community Hub to weed, direct seed and hand plant native species in sensitive coastal areas.

Native plants rising to the challenge of coastal resilience
A drone photograph of direct seeded revegetation lines at Cape Elizabeth.

Greening Australia direct seeded across more than 100 hectares, as well as planting seedlings in furrows. Nearly 1,000 eucalypt, allocasuarina and melaleuca seedlings were planted at Port Pearce, Rifle Butts Beach, Cape Elizabeth and Port Wakefield. Germination monitoring revealed Cape Elizabeth as a stand out with many seedlings now well established, while some species planted at Point Pearce in winter 2022 have grown to at least a metre high.

More than 3400 seedlings were planted by Yorke Peninsula Council at 13 locations along Yorke Peninsula’s west coast from The Gap Campground to Point Souttar. The majority of sites have achieved an 80 to 100% plant survival rate, with only 4 sites attaining less than 50% plant survival, typically in rocky and exposed conditions.

Native plants rising to the challenge of coastal resilience
St Columba's Memorial School students at their planting day at Lake Fowler in 2023.

Students also got involved with 60 primary school students from St Columba’s Memorial School and Yorketown Area School helping SYP Community Hub at two planting days at Lake Fowler last year. The students braved wintry conditions to help plant 400 seedlings that had been propagated and nurtured by the YP Leisure Options group. Another 900 seedlings were also planted at Goldsmiths Beach and in total about 70% of the plants have survived.

Local landholder and SYP Community Hub volunteer Peter Stockings said these plantings are also helping to revegetate areas affected by the 2019 fires. “These areas were decimated by the fires. The trees and other vegetation there was completely burnt,” he said. “It’s a great feeling that this revegetation will benefit this area into the future.”

Native plants rising to the challenge of coastal resilience
Peter Stockings (centre) with Kate Martin (right), coordinator of SYP Community Hub, helping at one of the planting days.

Revegetation along Yorke Peninsula’s coastline aims to provide a wind barrier, prevent erosion, increase biodiversity and create important habitat for fauna species over time. It will also help stabilise soil and sand and connect fragmented areas.

“This has been a great team effort with many parts of the community involved,” said Janet Moore. “Landholders, council, First Nations and schools have helped the Board with a project that will continue to benefit Yorke Peninsula for years to come.”

Find out more about the Djulda-wawa Badja project.

Native plants rising to the challenge of coastal resilience
A line of seedlings emerging from a direct seeding effort at Cape Elizabeth.

More stories

  1. Conservation creates connection in Tarcowie

    Blog story | 15 Apr. 2024
  2. The 3 Ps of creating a native garden

    Blog story | 11 Apr. 2024
  3. Mid North awash with cactus-fighting cochineal

    News article | 09 Apr. 2024